Hey, hey folks.
Hope this finds you all well.
Today sees my last day at work until the 20th April and with that is the realisation that it’s ONLY 3 days until this Sh*t gets serious. Eeek!
Yeah, yeah… the title image says 1 day plus some hours but that’s the countdown before we fly.
Fly down to Gatwick and do a sleep over and then catch the first charter plane at 07:00 to Ouarzazate. We then hop on a bus (or some such transport) and get driven 4-5hrs out and dumped in the desert.
The camp is being set-up as we speak and readied for all of those anxious, I’m one of them, peeps that are going to take on the 32nd Marathon de Sables.
The first night under the stars will surely be EPIC and i’ll try and capture the twinkles with the iPhone as best I can. Sadly, I’ll not be taking the Canon 7D.
Should you wish to keep in touch with me, send me words of encouragement, or even sarcasm (preferred), we were given the details by the race organisers yesterday. See below for details.
This year, our communication and tracking devices are even better! Your loved-ones will be able to follow your every move on MDS and send you daily encouragements.
• Receive messages from friends and family: through the MDS website, your loved-ones can send you messages, which will be delivered to you on the bivouac.
• Send messages to your friends and family: every day, you can send a free email (and even several if you queue up each time). No photos, just text, to one recipient (organize a relay address before you go).
• Satellite telephone: every day, you can call your loved-ones using a satellite telephone (€2 / min, in cash). Remember, using a mobile phone on the bivouac or route is not authorized, so move further away if you want to use yours… and remember that in the desert, you won’t find much network coverage, and no electricity!
• Discover the stage of the day: on the MDS website, your loved-ones will be able to visualise the day’s stage (map + description), posted online daily.
• Follow your progress (MDS Live): on the MDS website, friends and family will be able to follow your progress live thanks to the SPOT messenger that you will be carrying.
• Ranking: at the end of the day, the stage ranking and general ranking will be updated.
• Videos: all the official MDS videos are available on our Youtube channel.
• MDS web series: on the MDS website, watch a new episode in the MDS web series every day to explore the experiences of a dozen competitors.
We will even be on TV. Watch out for the pasty white, Scottish chap, puffing and panting his way across the course 😉
• TV5 Monde: watch the MDS highlights of the day on the different TV5 Monde channels from 8 to 15 April.
20:56, Paris time
20:59 Paris/Berlin time
22:55 Paris time/ 20:55 Dakar
NORTH AFRICA / MIDDLE EAST:
20:56 Paris time/ 21:56 Beirut
02:55 Paris time/ 07:55 Bangkok (broadcast from 9 to 16 April)
00:55 Paris time/ 07:55 Tokyo (broadcast from 9 to 16 April)
00:26 Paris time/ 18:26 New York
22:56 Paris time/ 17:56 Buenos Aires
5:30 Montreal time
And lastly, why not sign up your friends and family to the MDS Newsletter: they will receive it each evening, and find a summary of the day’s stage, race conditions, personality features, etc. It might even be about you.
So, as of Friday morning, I’ll be incommunicado for a while as phone signal isn’t the best in the Sahara I believe. I’ll certainly be taking ‘notes’ of my days activities, feelings, etc. so I can update the blog upon my return.
Wouldn’t like you to miss out on the experience.
I would like to thank you all for coming thus far with me and reading about my exploits about this rather stupid (?) idea of entering this race in the first place. However, some great things have come out of this idea. I’ve met some wonderful people. Run through landscapes that I probably wouldn’t ever have done, and I feel I’ve changed. Maybe even grown, since taking this on. It’s always good to have something to aim for.
Thinking about your own adventure? I would urge anyone to think BIG. Why can’t you do that thing? Says who? You are the only person stopping you from doing it!
Thanks again my friends. It’s been emotional.
But nothing says emotion more than a painted smiley face on a rock, somewhere in the Sahara desert.
Keep, keeping on.
The out of office is now ON.
Take care. Speak soon.
PS: A MASSIVE thanks to all of you guys & gals that have supported the charity. We now have raised almost £2,100.00 thus far for War Child which is totally awesome. Thank you all it humbling.
There’s loads of time to donate and if you haven’t already, please visit my Just giving page, every little helps those who can’t help themselves.
To make it quick and easy, you can even donate you amount (£5.00 min suggestion) by…